Sunday, August 7, 2011

German Potato Salad? Ja bitte!

I love Germany. Before I visited Bavaria, many of my friends joked that we would find nothing but sausage and kraut. Although that would have been fine with me, I found quite the opposite. There was a wide variety of traditional and international options. I have had "German Potato Salad" here in the states. But when I had it in Munich, it was entirely different. Somehow, when this dish made its way to America something got lost in translation.

On a dark and cold winter night, we trekked through the empty streets of Munich. When we came upon the Hirschgarten Biergarten, we thought it might be closed. The log cabin style building was almost ghostly in it's stillness. But as soon as we opened the door, the sounds of clanking steins and jovial conversation came pouring out.

Just sitting in that dimly lit room and smelling the aromas would be enough to drive any human to gluttony. But it was my first bite of REAL German potato salad that sent me into a full fledged foodgasm. Between that and the Schnitzel, I could have died happy right there.

So in honor of my German nostalgia, today's recipe is German Potato Salad. Enjoy and share the love!

German Potato Salad


4 large red potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium yellow onion, julienned
5 - 7 slices of thick cut bacon
1/2 cup peas
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp brown mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp black pepper
nutmeg, whole (not ground)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, boil potato cubes for 4 - 5 minutes or until al dente. Remove potatoes from boiling water and place in ice water for about 1 minute.

*Quick Tip: Make sure you do not cook the potatoes completely. The ice bath will quickly halt the cooking process.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan but leave the grease in the pan. Place bacon on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 3 -5 minutes or until crisp. When bacon is finished, allow to cool and chop into small pieces.

In skillet with bacon grease, saute onions, garlic and peas until onion becomes almost transparent. Add potatoes and cook on high heat for 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain off grease and add bacon to mixture.

In a small bowl whisk together mustard, olive oil and pepper until well combined. Add to potato mixture and stir to coat. Salt to taste and grate just a dash of nutmeg over the top. Serve warm.

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